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Full text of "My Country And My People"

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ONE of the most important movements in China to-day is the
discovery of their own country by young Chinese intellectuals.
A generation ago the most progressive of their fathers were
beginning to feel a stirring discontent with their own country.
They were conscious, indeed the consciousness was forced
upon them, that China as she had been in the past was not able
to meet the dangerous and aggressive modernity of the West.
I do not mean the political modernity so much as the march
of economic, educational and military events. These Chinese
fathers, fathers of the present generation in China, were the
real revolutionists. They forced out of existence the old dynastic
rule, they changed with incredible speed the system of educa-
tion, with indefatigable zeal they planned and set up a scheme
of modern government. No ancient government under an
emperor ever accomplished with more imperial speed such
tremendous changes in so great a country.

In this atmosphere of change, the present intellectual youth
of China has grown up. Where the fathers imbibed the doctrine
of Confucius and learned the classics and revolted against
them, these young people have been battered by many forces
of the new times. They have been taught something of science,
something of Christianity, something of atheism, something of
free love, something of communism, something of Western
philosophy, something of modern militarism, something, in
fact, of everything. In the midst of the sturdy medievalism of
the masses of their countrymen the young intellectuals have
been taught the most extreme of every culture. Intellectually
they have been forced to the same great omissions that China
has made physically. They have skipped, figuratively speaking,
from the period of the unimproved country road to the aero-
plane era. The omission was too great. The mind could not
compensate for it. The spirit was lost in the conflict.

The first result, therefore, of the hiatus was undoubtedly to